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Welcome to “That which We Call A Rose,” the blog!

“That which We Call A Rose” is a practice-based performance studies research project aimed to encourage a diverse range of audience participants to think creatively about how humans might mindfully encounter planetary bodies in our solar system.  “A Rose” engages audiences with questions pertaining to the human exploration of  worlds other than our own through a theatrical treatment of the planetary nomenclature process. Using data available through the “Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature” (a product of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), maintained by the Planetary Geomatics Group of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)), we are devising an interactive, multi-media performance installation that imagines the terrain of other planetary bodies as potential sites for embodied human exploration.

This environmental performance piece will invite audience members to experience topographical features of the Moon, Mars, Saturn’s moon Titan, and the asteroid Bennu. Audiences will inhabit a live environment that recreates aspects of each planetary body’s surface topography and its cultural context. This embodied exploration will be augmented through the implementation of interactive computer modeling; live actors, robots, and puppets will also populate the space and interact with audiences.

This interdisciplinary research project mines the literary, historical, and cultural data contained in the “Gazetteer” to ask questions about human Space exploration from an arts and humanities perspective. An interdisciplinary treatment of data and subject matter often relegated to “pure” science should contribute to the achievement of a diverse workforce and inclusive practices across science and humanities professions. This STEAM project extends science, arts, and humanities questions about outer space to audiences that are diverse in age, ethnicity, race, gender, and ability. Audiences will then share in the intimate experience of theatrical performance as they are asked to contemplate our human relationship with other worlds.

The process of theatrical devising is democratic, so as you follow this blog, you will hear from not just me, but actor-creators, designers, dramaturgs, stage managers, and digital visualization experts. Maybe our robot Martha will also blog about her experiences as an arts-science interlocutor…

Our work-in-progress performance will be shared in July at the Women’s Theatre Festival in Raleigh, NC.

Stay tuned for more as we create this multi-media performance!